Homemade Lemon Spread - The Cooking Collective (2024)

Homemade Lemon Spread - The Cooking Collective (1)

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5 from 25 votes

Homemade Lemon Spread

Store bought lemon butter spread is not even close to being as good as homemade! This additive free, from-scratch lemon spread is incredibly creamy, tart and sweet. And you only need 4 ingredients and about 20 minutes to make it! Lemon butter is perfect for spreading on toast, scones, cakes, pancakes and more. It also makes the perfect gift in pretty jars.

Course: cakes, Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: Australian

Servings: 3 jars

Calories: 103kcal

Author: Andrea Geddes


  • 6 large whole eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 190 grams butter cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup lemon juice around 4-5 fresh lemons

Metric - US Customary


  • Prepare a medium saucepan with shallow water and place over low heat until gently simmering.

  • In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined.

  • Carefully place the bowl over the top of the saucepan, so that it sits snugly over the top without allowing steam to escape from underneath the bowl. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.

  • While over low heat, carefully whisk the lemon juice into the egg mixture and continue to whisk.

  • Add the cubes of butter and continue to whisk the mixture until the butter melts and the mixture becomes smooth and thickens to a custard-like consistency. This will take around 15-20 minutes, maybe a little longer depending on your stove and pot/bowl setup.

  • Once cooked, remove the lemon curd from the heat and transfer to sterilised glass jars to cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.


  1. The lemon butter should not be made directly in a saucepan, or it will catch (and possibly burn) on the bottom as it cooks. It should be made in a double-boiler set up. This will require a medium saucepan and a heat-proof bowl (I use a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl) that will fit snugly over the top of the saucepan (to prevent steam from escaping out from underneath the bowl). Importantly, the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Using a double-boiler will allow the lemon butter to cook slowly and consistently.
  2. For best results, use fresh eggs, fresh lemons (rather than bottled lemon juice) and good quality butter.
  3. Cook it over low heat to avoid lumps. If there are some lumps or pieces of egg visible at the end, the curd can be strained before adding to jars.
  4. This recipe requires patience, as it can take up to 15-20 minutes to thicken and it needs to be continually whisked over heat as it cooks.
  5. Keep whisking! The curd needs to be whisked continually until it thickens, or it may catch at the bottom of the bowl or become lumpy. We want smooth, creamy lemon butter and the key is to keep stirring!
  6. When is it ready? The lemon butter should have a custard-like consistency before you remove it from the heat. Dip a spoon into the lemon butter and then run your finger along the back of it. If it leaves a clean line in the curd, it is cooked and ready to add to jars. Due to its butter content, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  7. Take care while handling the bowl over the heat, as the it will get hot. Use a hand towel or oven-mitt if needed.
  8. To keep the spread fresh and sterile, it should be added to sterilised jars immediately after cooking. Add the hot spread to ready-prepared jars and twist the lids in place. Turn the jars upside down to seal the jars and leave this way until cooled.
  9. To sterilise jars; most jars can be sterilised, as long as the seals in the lid are intact. Place clean, dry jars (NOT the lids) in an oven at 120 C for 20 minutes, or use a sterilising solution like Miltons'.
  10. Storage; when sealed correctly in a sterilised jar, this lemon spread will keep in the fridge for around 2 months. If it is just in an airtight container it will keep for around 4 weeks. Once opened, it should be consumed within 1-2 weeks.
  11. Freezing; place it into freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 12 months.
  12. What if it doesn’t thicken? If your lemon spread hasn’t thickened, it may not have been heated enough. It can take 15-20 minutes (sometimes longer) of constant whisking to cook it, especially if it’s a large batch. Remember that it will thicken further when cooled. If it isn’t thick enough, you can reheat it to thicken. To make a thicker lemon butter, you can also add an extra egg yolk.
  13. This recipe is made usingAustralian cups and spoon measurements.Due to cup sizes varying from country to country, I advise adjusting if necessary.


Serving: 3tbsp | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 204IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Homemade Lemon Spread - The Cooking Collective (2024)
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